Sailing Holiday in Croatia

The Adriatic Sea stretches north-west - south-east, and comprises the area between the Balkan and Apennine peninsula (783 km). The average width of the Adriatic amounts to 170 km.

The part belonging to the Republic of Croatia is that of the east coast, which extends all the way from Prevlaka in the south to the cape Savudrija in the west, including all islands, islets and cliffs along the coast, as well as the archipelago of Palagruza.

When to sail in Croatia:

The best period for a stay on the Croatian coast is between April and October. Summer temperatures can even reach 38°C, whereas the sea temperature amounts to pleasant 26°C during the summer period. High season (July and August) offers lots of fun, entertainment and excitement to guests eager for such a holiday, whereas the diversity of the Croatian coast also offers many peaceful and quiet places for guests looking for a rest far away from the loud music of the disco clubs. March is accompanied by the spring sun, as well as an occasional shower, whereas the early autumn, i.e. September and October, are ideal for people eager to have some rest. In the off season beaches are no longer crowded, and the weather remains stable and the sea temperature pleasant. In the winter period be sure to bring warm clothes regardless of the mild Mediterranean climate. Although the temperature never reaches 0°C, the wind can be quite unpleasant.
In case you are interested in our special offers and sailing opportunities in specific regions of Adriatic sea, please visit our dedicated websites A Yacht Charter Split, A Yacht Charter Zadar or A Yacht Charter Dubrovnik, respectively.

 

Hydro and oceanographic data

Depths

The shallowest part of the Croatian Adriatic is in Istria, where the depth does not exceed 50 metres. From Pula, the seabed is mildly lowering, making a long, narrow valley which extends from Zirje towards Italy and is called "Jabucka kotlina". The largest depth there is around 240 metres. From "Jabucka kotlina", the seabed is rising to Palagruza reef, where the largest depth amounts to 130 metres. Towards the south, the seabed is again steeply lowering towards the South-Adriatic valley, where the largest depth measured is around 1,300 metres.

Tides

The tidal movements of the Adriatic are of relatively small amplitudes. In the southern part, the difference rarely exceeds some forty centimetres, whereas in the northern part it is somewhat bigger, so that it amounts to 1 metre in Istria and the Gulf of Trieste. In some narrow channels and bays, the high tide can rise considerably during a strong north-eastern wind ("Bura"). This phenomenon is characteristic for big and deep bays of the southern Adriatic. The tides are of a mixed type, which means that their rhythm is semidiurnal during the new and full moon, and diurnal during the first and the last quarter. Their amplitudes are quite irregular.

Sea currents

Sea currents occur under the influence of winds, the differences in pressure, temperature, and salinity. Currents of the Adriatic can hardly be noticed. The speed of currents changes in particular areas, but it also depends on time periods. The average current speed amounts to around 0.5 knots, but they can also reach the speed of 4 knots.

Salinity

The average salinity of the Adriatic Sea is 38.30 per mill. In the northern part, the salinity is somewhat lower than in the central and southern part due to the influence of the River Po.

Sea temperature

The Adriatic Sea has a very noticeable annual change of the surface sea temperature. The average annual temperature is 11°C. During the winter time, the sea is the coldest and the surface temperature amounts to around 7°C. In the spring time, the sea gets warmer, and the surface temperature rises to 18°C. In the summer time the surface of the sea reaches quite a high temperature of 22 to 25°C, and in the southern Adriatic and Istria even up to 27°C.

Waves in the Adriatic

Waves occur primarily as a consequence of the blowing of winds. The farther the reach, i.e. the surface across which the wind blows, the higher the waves tend to be. Their strength depends on the configuration and exposure of the coast. Most often, the heights of waves in the Adriatic range between 0.5 and 1.5 metres, and very rarely exceed 5 metres.

Meteorology

Climate

The climate is Mediterranean, with mild, rainy winters, and hot, dry summers. The average temperature in the winter time ranges between 5°C and 10°C, and in the summer time between 26°C and 30°C. The sea temperature amounts to around 12°C in February and 25°C in August.

Winds

Basic winds of the Adriatic are the following: "Bura" (bora - north-eastern wind), "Maestral" (landward breeze - north-western wind), "Jugo" (sirocco - south-eastern wind) and "Pulent" (strong western wind).
Furthermore: "Libecco" (from the direction of south-west), "Levantera" (from east) and "Tramontana" (from north). At stable high air pressure, winds from the mainland usually blow during the night, and from the direction of sea during the day.

Information about weather in the Adriatic

Coastal radio stations broadcast information about weather as well as weather forecast for the following 24 hours on a daily basis in Croatian and English:

Radio Rijeka VHF channel 24 05,35h, 14,35h, 19,35h
Radio Split VHF channels 07, 21, 23, 81 05,45h, 12,45h, 19,45h
Radio Dubrovnik VHF channels 07, 04 06,25h, 13,20h, 21,20h

Constant weather forecasts on VHF - transmitters

Weather forecasts for the area of Croatian coastal waters are broadcast in Croatian, English, Italian and German every 10 minutes, and are being updated at 07,00h, 13,00h and 19,00h (local time). They include a situation overview, short weather forecast for the following 24 hours and air pressure information.

Broadcasting is on the following channels:
VHF-channel 73 for the northern Adriatic / western part of Istria
VHF-channel 69 for the northern Adriatic / eastern part
VHF-channel 67 for the central Adriatic / eastern part
VHF-channel 73 for the southern Adriatic / eastern part

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